July 12, 2009

Man uses twin to get out of prison

A man charged with assault walked away from an English prison by pretending to be his twin brother, who was also held on a less serious charge, police said.

Simon Peter Mclellan, 27, was freed Friday after an appearance in magistrate's court, The Daily Telegraph reported. The magistrates believed him to be his brother, Mark, the report said.

Officers at Her Majesty's Prison in Winchester discovered a few hours later they were holding the wrong Mclellan.

Simon Peter, from Gosport near Portsmouth, was being held on a charge of grievous bodily harm, the British equivalent of aggravated assault.

Hampshire police said only that a 27-year-old man has been charged with aiding and abetting Simon Peter's escape. While the man was not named, it was presumably his twin.

Authorities say the Mclellans are fraternal, not identical, twins but they appear to have a strong family resemblance.